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How to Score: Science and the Beautiful Game [Paperback]

Ken Bray
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 May 2006
"How to Score" reveals the secret science that lies behind 'the beautiful game'. From international team formations to the psychology of the pitch and the changing room, Ken Bray describes the influences that impact upon play. He answers many of football's hottest questions: what is the perfect way to take a free kick? Which players are under more stress; attackers, midfield, or defenders? How do we know when a ball has crossed the goal-line? And, how can teams win a penalty shoot out? "How to Score" analyses many of the most memorable games over the last 50 years and the tactics of our favourite international and local footballers, as well as touching on big scientific themes such as aerodynamics, computer simulation and game analysis, via a brief journey into football's history. Drawing on the latest research from the fields of physics, biology, physiology, computing and psychology, football's hidden rules are illuminated like never before. From down the pub to up on the terraces, we love to talk about football - "How to Score" is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the game's secrets.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 229 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books; illustrated edition edition (1 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862078327
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862078321
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 487,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

‘Slip some of this theory into your Sunday morning team talks and see what happens’ -- GQ Magazine

About the Author

Ken Bray is visiting Fellow of the Sport and Exercise Science Group at the University of Bath. He publishes articles and lectures widely on scientific aspects for specialists and lay people alike. How to Score is his first book.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and enjoyable book! 13 Dec 2006
Format:Paperback
This book describes the science behind football in an interesting and enjoyable way. The science in the book is easy to understand and makes it more interesting to watch a football match.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good.. 8 Oct 2006
By Picard TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Not a bad book really! Its not exactly a thrilling read that you'll be looking at regularly, but it does have its interesting sections, from analyzing free kicks, from the likes of Beckham, to the history the 'mob game' that was originally football.

It can get quite technical at times, and I got quite confused during the section that goes into the aerodynamics surrounding a football during a free-kick, but its explained fairly plainly.

Good book, but don't expect it to teache you how to score is plain easy steps...
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worthy but dull. Very dull. 21 Oct 2006
Format:Paperback
Like me, you probably yearn for a book about football that acknowledges you are past the age of 13 (thank you, Saturday TV lunchtime shows and any phone-in on the radio). Your looking for a book that appreciates it is an art form (as in "The Beautiful Game") but also deals with the serious analysis behind it. For "serious analysis", I read "science" and assumed this would be the book that does it but for me at least, it didn't work.
The first chapter is an okay history of the development of football - not much you couldn't find in an hour on Google. The second chapter is about tactical systems (2-3-5, W-M, 4-2-4, etc) - while it includes some statistics on the theoretical number of passing options offered by different systems this seemed to hinge entirely on the players standing still on the pitch in their neat formation - frankly I thought this was rubbish. So far I didn't feel I had learned anything more than from the much more readable "Flat Back Four" by Andy Gray & Jim Drewett
The third chapter is about being able to "Bend it Like Beckham" or any number of other players who take free kicks. The author's delight in science comes to the fore here and he is quickly away telling us about obscure Scottish mathematicians observing the flight of golf balls. This is about as entertaining as it sounds and my commitment to the book was starting to seriously wane.
The next chapter is about measurement of play on the pitch where the author quotes scientific studies that, to be frank, "prove" the obvious. Shock findings include: trying to put together lots of passes in one move usually leads to the ball being given away; most injuries occur in and around the penalty area, and midfielders run further during play than anyone else.
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